WORCESTER – A major announcement is expected on Wednesday, Nov. 15 at Worcester’s DCU Center introducing the city to its new arena football team.

As ThisWeekinWorcester.com reported last month, Worcester will be home to the Massachusetts Pirates — the newest arena football team in the National Arena League [NAL] – beginning in April 2018.

In an interview on Monday, Nov. 13, team owner and CEO Hassan Yatim told ThisWeekinWorcester.com, “This is a high level arena football league. They’re going to bring a lot of energy and excitement to the fans. It’s good quality football.”

“The way the game is played involves the fan more and it’s a lot more interesting than other arena leagues,” Yatim added.

Yatim, of Shrewsbury, is a co-owner of Yatco Energy Corporation based in Northborough.

Yatim said that the team will be playing seven or eight home games at the DCU Center plus playoff games if the team advances after the regular season. Ticket prices have yet to be determined, but Yatim said the prices will be “reasonable.”

“They’re working on the prices. It’s a very reasonable price for families to come and have fun for a night or come there during an afternoon game,” Yatim said.

Yatim’s son, Jawad, is the President of the team and in charge of operations. Jawad will also be the team’s backup quarterback.

The head coach is former Western Michigan University lineback Amir Ismael and former CIFL New England Surge head coach Rick Buffington will serve as vice president of football operations. The Surge was an indoor football team that played at the DCU Center from 2007 to 2008

Before the Surge – a member of the Continental Indoor Football League – was the 1994 Massachusetts Marauders, part of the Arena Football League that played at the then Worcester Centrum, but folded due to low attendance numbers.

An arena football field is only 50 yards long [half the length of an NFL field] with walls along the sidelines.

The NAL was formed just this year and is made up of six teams: Jacksonville Sharks, Columbus Lions, Lehigh Valley, Steelhawks, Jersey Flight, Monterrey Steel and Georgia Firebirds. However, according to insidethearena.org, the Steel and Firebirds have yet to commit to the 2018 season.

The press conference to announce the team will be held at 3 PM on Wednesday at the DCU Center. It is open to the public and will be inside the Pavilion. All attendees will receive a free t-shirt.

Three-time Super Bowl Champion and former New England Patriot Patrick Pass, and Patriots All-Century Center and former first round draft pick and NFL lineman of the year Peter Brock will be in attendance for the announcement.

About Patrick Sargent

Patrick Sargent is the founder and lead reporter for ThisWeekinWorcester.com. He was born and raised on Grafton Hill and is a graduate of Holy Name high school and Worcester State University. Over the past two years, he worked as a contributing reporter for the Worcester Sun. Previous to that, over the course of several years, he had stints with GoLocalWorcester, Worcester Magazine, the Leominster Champion and Fitchburg Pride. He is the owner of Sargent Media, LLC and can be contacted at [email protected] or 774-232-1223.

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